In September 2016, the first major outbreak of Asian Ambrosia beetles weighing within a European natural ecosystem was discovered in Circeo National Park (Italy)- Xylosandrus compactus (black twig borer) and Xylosandrus crassiusculus (granulate ambrosia beetle).
These beetles, which host symbiotic fungi, dig tunnels into young branches (X. compactus) and trunks (X. crassiusculus) of trees. Infested trees may show wilting, branch deformation, breakage, and general decline.
Eventually, widespread desiccation of Mediterranean scrub may occur, as has occurred in Circeo Park over an area of 13 hectares.
The alarming damage in the Circeo Park, the increasing number of reports along the Tyrrhenian coast, in or near natural parks, and the resulting vulnerability of many species of Mediterranean maquis evergreens have led scientists to study possible pathways of expansion and test early detection protocols and small-scale containment and eradication measures.
The Life SAMFIX Project aims to share and exploit these expertise, discoveries and research efforts; develop specific protocols and tools and test them in a wide range of sites; collect and evaluate the data obtained to better understand invasion modes and pathways, risks and effectiveness, in order to achieve the following objectives:
TYPE OF ACTION
Università degli Studi della Tuscia
DEPARTMENT OF UNIVERSITY
DIBAF: Department for Innovation in Biological, Agri-food and Forestry Systems